January 12, 2006


Remember when Hong Kong used to be the world's second largest film industry after Bollywood? As Hong Kong film production hits record lows, mighty China is there to pick up the slack. The new world order? Hollywood is number one, Bollywood is number two and China is number three.

The numbers? China's film industry made US$248 million in 2005, up by approximately US$60 million from 2004, and 260 Chinese films were made in 2005. These numbers seem to include Stephen Chow's KUNG FU HUSTLE, so I'm wondering if China is including Hong Kong movies in their count?

With Wong Kar-wai picked to be king of the Cannes Film Festival jury, and Lee Young-Ae (SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE) selected to sit on the jury of the Berlin Film Festival, it's weird days for Asian film. While a lot of the old school fans are disappointed that Hong Kong's manic glory days seem to be a thing of the past, and shock and gore auteurs aren't rocking the cineplex the way Takashi Miike used to, Korea not equalling it's incredible years of 1999 - 2001, and North American audiences are still way behind the curve, with movies being delayed by years before their release, on the other hand there are some amazing movies coming out of Japan, Hong Kong still turns out at least 3 essential movies every year, and China is roaring in like a lion.

Korea, China and Japan continue to rub up against each other and produce sparks as they demonstrate that pop culture knows no borders, and Western festivals are trying to keep up with the cool quotient.

January 12, 2006 at 12:58 PM in News | Permalink


Glad to know you've not given up on Hong Kong cinema. And yes, though I miss those magical days when Asia the Invincible (AKA Brigitte Lin) ruled, I too continue to find gems in my trawl through contemporary Hong Kong movies. And speaking of those: Do check out the last Hong Kong movie of 2005, MOONLIGHT IN TOKYO, sometime -- and I really do hope that you find much to like about it, as I did.

Posted by: YTSL | Jan 12, 2006 4:27:44 PM

there must be some misunderstation there. bollywood is biggest in the world in number of movies made annually and, as well, number of admisions. but as far as it come to money, they are far behing USA ($8,8 billions this year) and japan (they make about 300 movies a year, with aprox. $2 billions from total box office. this zear figure hasnt been displayed yet, but you can have a look at japan year box office statistics since 1955 here - http://www.eiren.org/statistics_e/index.html)

Posted by: dez | Jan 13, 2006 3:11:18 AM

these 260 chinese movies made in 2005 is meant chinese plus hk (about a hundreed)plus taiwanesse.

$250 is total gross, which is 60 percent US movies, 30 percent HK ones and just 10 remain percents is from chinese movies (most of it was made by the promise, which was the best selling movie in china this year and managed to made $19 mil.)

china, is by no mean, very well groving cinematic country, but HK is still way huger, if it comes to money, not to mention japan or bolywwod too. :)

Posted by: dez | Jan 13, 2006 3:16:51 AM

I think the article that originally put this forward was using some creative accounting in order to make their point. It originated with Xinhua, China's official news agency, and since there's been a huge push on film and cultural exports this year from higher up in China I expect that this was a "different" way of looking at the same numbers.

And, as for that Bollywood number, I think that's always been a result of a misunderstanding. Bollywood produces a huge number of films, but nowhere near the 800-900 per year that people have claimed. But India as a whole does do 800-900 movies per year. Does that make any sense?

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Jan 13, 2006 8:00:44 AM

creative accounting from Xinhua, China's official news agency - this makes sense. :)

worldwide box office gross for 2005 is about $22 billion. excluding $9 bil. , which is US share, aprox. 45 percent, the rest is about 30 percent for europe and aprox. 20 percent for asia-pacific region.

count yourself - how much is china´s $250 mil.

korea has made $850 mil, japan will be at about $2 billions. bollywood with its aprox. 200 releases has made aprox. $200 mil.

but then again, asia pacif region is a leader if it comes to admissions. 60 percent of 8 billion people who went to cinema in 2005 where from asia-pacific.

Posted by: dez./ | Jan 13, 2006 12:56:14 PM

Post a comment